What's a credit report?
A credit report is a record of your credit history, which covers your credit enquiries, borrowings and your repayments. The report will include information about any bankruptcies or other relevant legal judgements. It will also include biographical information such as your address, date of birth, driver's licence number and employment history.
How do I know if I've got a bad credit history?
You can find out what your credit history looks like by accessing what's known as your credit rating or credit score. You're also able to check your credit report for free once per year.
How are credit ratings/scores calculated?
Different credit reporting bodies may use different formulas to calculate credit scores. However, they use the same type of information: credit history and demographic profile.
They’re likely to look at how many credit applications you’ve made, which lender the applications were for, what purpose they were for, how much they were for and your repayment record. They’ll also look at your age and postcode. They’ll also look to see if you’ve had any bankruptcies or other relevant legal judgements against you.
Your score can change if your demographic profile changes or new information is added to your file (such as a new loan application) or existing information is removed from your file (i.e. because it has reached its expiry date).
How do I find out my credit rating/score?
You're entitled to one free credit report per year from credit reporting bodies like Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service. You can also get a free report if you’ve been refused credit in the past 90 days.
Credit reporting bodies have up to 10 days to provide reports. If you want to access your report sooner, you’ll probably have to pay.
What is a credit rating/score?
Your credit rating or credit score is a number that summarises how credit-worthy you are based on your credit history.
The lower your score, the more likely you are to be denied a loan or forced to pay a higher interest rate.
What causes bad credit ratings/scores?
Failing to repay loans and bills will damage your credit score. So will falling behind on your repayments. Your credit score will also suffer if you apply for credit too often or have credit applications rejected.
When was comprehensive credit reporting introduced?
Comprehensive credit reporting was introduced to make credit reports fairer and more accurate. Under the previous system, credit providers only saw negative information about potential borrowers. Now, they're able to see both positive and negative information, which means that credit providers can see if a borrower’s negative credit behaviour is consistent or a mere one-off.
What is bad credit?
A person is deemed to have ‘bad credit’ when they have a poor history of managing credit and repaying debts.